Brewed by J.W. Lees
Style: Barley Wine
Middleton, England
Serve in Snifter


on tap

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 1085   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.86/5   EST. CALORIES: 345   ABV: 11.5%
Available filtered and pasteurised in 275ml dark glass bottles. Has appeared occasionally in cask.
This fully fermented strong ale has been brewed by J.W. Lees as a celebration of the brewers art since 1985. Harvest Ale can be enjoyed now or laid down like a vintage wine for enjoyment in years to come.

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bager's rating

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
bager (2120) - Copenhagen N, - APR 18, 2009
Bottle. Semi clear and light amber coloured with almost no head. Somewhat malty with heavy notes of honey. A bit spicy and very sweet.

Benters (48) - Leicestershire, ENGLAND - OCT 2, 2017
2015 vintage. Pours a slightly hazy amber-red colour with minimal head and low carbonation. Aroma is rich, fruity, alcoholic, almost Christmas-cake-like. Taste is sweet, chewy, a complex blend of molasses, dark fruits, caramel and a sherry-like warmth. Fruit and malt dominate the palate. Finish is dominated by dry, syrupy sweetness. A really enjoyable beer, great for savouring and one which whilst strong does hide its 11.5% ABV fairly well!

ebone1988 (2073) - Dearborn, Michigan, USA - SEP 11, 2017
Bottle from Merchants, for the book. 2013 Vintage. Aroma is caramel, toffee, sweet, fruity, bready, woody, butterscotch, slight peat maybe, really nice stuff. Appearance is brownish reddish, minimal light brown head, murky. Taste is sweet, toffee, caramel, butterscotch, woody, smooth as fuck, rich, decadent, slight booze, complex and delicious. It reminds me a lot of 4D. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy body, light carbonation, decadent dessert and woody boozy aftertaste. Overall, hot damn I regret waiting for this one.

DiarmaidBHK (5668) - Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 28, 2017
Taster at the Birch. Pours brown with a khaki head. Leaves trace lacing in the glass. Solid peat notes on the tongue. Big scotch action on the tongue. Hides it’s booze well. Nice!

mar (5436) - Dallas, Texas, USA - JUN 27, 2017
2012 bottle. Hazy, deep amber with no head. Thick malts, chewy toffee, caramel and dough. Heavy palate, oxidation, caramel, sweet, toffee pudding in the back, light alcohol in finish.

gopherfan99 (2000) - Minnesota, USA - MAY 20, 2017
Bottle; pours cloudy amber with a beige head; aroma of caramel, fruit, booze, and malt; taste is sweet with caramel, fruits, malt, and brown sugar hints; finish is dry and malty with some alcohol warming

ctipping (2202) - Florida, USA - MAY 6, 2017
1999 275 mL bottle. Pours deep amber and mostly clear. Remarkably few floaty bits and almost no sediment in the bottle. Smells of raisins, brown sugar, caramel, a little oxidation that comes off as sherry and cardboard. Tastes very sweet. Dampened by oxidation. Bitterness builds. Raisins and sherry, but cut again by cardboard bitterness. Heavy with low carbonation. This has held up remarkably well. Impressive for its age, but I don’t know that it’s objectively that great.

Homer321 (5166) - Melboring, Florida, USA - MAY 6, 2017
Bottle to snifter. Intense melanoidin aroma. Lots of Munich malt. Dusty. Lots of dark dried fruit. Light alcohol. Pours brown. Flat. Taste is like chewing raisins. Chewy. Thick. Viscous. Perfect example of an English barley wine and has held up phenomenally for 16 years (2001 bottle). Just wish it had a touch of carbonation. Very pleasant sipper for a night cap.

Bill Becker (1365) - Casper, Wyoming, USA - MAR 3, 2017
This is the 1998 vintage: I’ve had this bottle for about 3 years now so I decided now was the time to try it: It pours from 275ml bottle a clear very deep brown with lots of red highlights and when I hold my glass up to the light, I see no sediment. The foam whilst pouring looked like it was going to be non existant or at least, very small but when I put my glass down on the table there’s a nice 1" layer sitting there all pretty looking. Plenty of sticky lacing on the sides of my glass as well. Btw, the small head of foam stays around for the entire session. On to the smell and I’m greeted with a very strong nose of caramel malt along with some dark fruit like raisin, plum, and some fig. Nice. The taste is very sweet because of the huge caramel malt but as in the smell, I can taste some raisin, plum, sherry, molasses, some chocolate. and other flavours that I can’t even begin to describe accurately. There’s a decent warming during and after the swallow but at 11.50%abv, it comes as no surprise. The mouthfeel is really chewy and the carbonation is low and it finishes as sweet as it started out. What a sipper! What a Barleywine Style Ale! I *have* to pick up some more of these...any and all vintages I can find...because I’m getting a great drinking experience here and for the price, I think it’s a damned good bargain. I highly recommend it!!!

BillKismet (4103) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 4, 2017
Labeled "Autumn Limited Edition" (2013). Orangish-maroon body, mightily carbonated, and with a light caramel colored head. Sherry and malt soak those, soon followed by heavy Marsala notes. This rolls over the palate in medium-viscous wavers. Wet Marsala flavors permeate the tongue, followed by crashing waves of sherry, and deep, aged maltiness.

john44 (3331) - SW London, Greater London, ENGLAND - FEB 4, 2017
Cask Half Pint at White Horse, Parsons Green, London in Nov 2010 - Deep Reddish-Amber in colour. Very Malty; toasted malts, toffee, caramel, honey. Very Fruity; spiced fruit, raisins, dates. Rich, full-bodied, rather syrupy. Very sweet fruity malty; liquid fruitcake. Noticeable alcohol. One of those must try beers. Would be interesting to try a well aged bottle. Nice Barley Wine! (2010-11)

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